Very Early Ballet: Geltzer & Tikhomirov Pas de Deux 1913?

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    Anyone who has seen Thomas Edison's earliest film, "The Kiss," will be immediately aware that the standards of stage beauty of 100 years ago were, to

    ...

    Anyone who has seen Thomas Edison's earliest film, "The Kiss," will be immediately aware that the standards of stage beauty of 100 years ago were, to say the least, different.

    Dancers and leading actors today are near anorexic in comparison.

    However, it needs to be remembered that Geltzer and husband Tikhomirov were great Bolshoi stars of their day.

    Yekaterina Geltzer was named People's Artist of the Soviet Union in 1925, the first ballet dancer to be so honored.

    Vasily Tikhomirov was quite statuesque in his youth, around the turn of the century, and the photographic records of some of his postures are quite stunning.

    Bolshoi male dancers have characteristically been very strong and virile in appearance (viz.

    Irek Mukhamedov) although nothing approaching Tikhomirov's bulk, to be sure! This fascinating old film shows something else, and that is the degree to which style and posing were huge parts of the presentation.

    It is unlikely that the athletics to which we have become accustomed today were much in evidence if at all.

    And the further one goes back in time, the more this was the case, until the tableaux and individual postures came to resemble the highly formalized movements of the 18th century.

    The musical accompanyment to this silent film is taken from Franz Schubert's Moments Musicaux.

  • # very# early# ballet:# geltzer# &# tikhomirov# pas# de# deux# 1913?
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